Trump tweets support for arming teachers after denying he said 'give teachers guns'

  • President Trump again shows support for arming some teachers and school staff members as an answer to school shootings.
  • "A 'gun free' school is a magnet for bad people," the president tweets.

President Donald Trump on Thursday again showed support for arming some teachers and school staff members as an answer to school shootings.

"A 'gun free' school is a magnet for bad people," Trump tweeted Thursday morning. "ATTACKS WOULD END!"

The president, in a tweet storm, initially started with criticism of media reports about his remarks Wednesday in which he voiced support for arming "adept" teachers to cut short attacks on school grounds.

"If a potential 'sicko shooter' knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school," Trump said in one tweet. "Cowards won't go there...problem solved."

The tweets came a day after the president expressed openness to arming teachers to prevent attacks.

"If you had a teacher with — who was adept at firearms — they could very well end the attack very quickly. ... And we're going to be looking at it very strongly, and I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it, I think a lot of people are going to like it," Trump said during Wednesday's listening session with survivors and family members of victims of school massacres in Connecticut, Colorado and Florida.

One of the parents at the event, the father of a child who was shot to death in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, pushed back on the idea of arming teachers, saying that educators already have too much to worry about beyond potentially using lethal force.

The president's tweets Thursday morning came amid growing outcry among parents of shooting victims and survivors of massacres who want to tighten gun laws. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, site of a massacre last week in which 17 people were killed, led a large protest Wednesday at the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee, while other students demonstrated outside the White House.

Trump, who ran as a pro-gun candidate with support from the National Rifle Association, has signaled support for narrow provisions to tighten gun laws, including a push for rules that would ban so-called bump stocks, which essentially turn semi-automatic weapons into machine guns. A White House official told CNBC that Trump is open to banning all guns for certain individuals.

Trump said Thursday that he pushed policymakers to "look at the possibility of giving" guns to "adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best."

In this scenario, Trump said, 20 percent of teachers — "a lot" — would be able to "immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions."

This would give schools "far more assets at much less cost than guards," he added.

Minutes later, Trump again tweeted his support for the idea, saying police and first responders take about five to eight minutes to get to the site of a crime.

"Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive," Trump tweeted. "GREAT DETERRENT!"

Later Thursday, the president said armed school staffers should be paid bonuses.

After his tirade on the benefits he sees in arming teachers, Trump then tweeted support for other measures intended to limit access to guns.

Later Thursday morning, he tweeted his support for the leaders of the National Rifle Association, the gun interest group that has often comes under intense scrutiny for its efforts to resist tighter gun laws. He wrote that NRA officials "love our Country and will do the right thing."

— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

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